Council must take £100m out of fossil fuels, group says

More than 20 protesters gathered outside County Hall to present the signatures to the county council
More than 20 protesters gathered outside County Hall to present the signatures to the county council

More than 500 people have joined a Worthing environmental group’s call for West Sussex County Council to take its money out of fossil fuels.

Worthing Climate Action Network are rallying support for their campaign to persuade the council to invest pension funds currently tied up in fossel fuel in more ethical causes.

The signatures were presented to Nathan Elvery, CEO of West Sussex County Council. Picture: Kate Shemilt

The signatures were presented to Nathan Elvery, CEO of West Sussex County Council. Picture: Kate Shemilt

The group says the pension fund is worth more than £100million.

More than 500 signatures were presented to Nathan Elvery, CEO of West Sussex County Council, at County Hall in Chichester on Tuesday, April 18.

Rod Thick, a member of Worthing Climate Action Network, said: “We are very hopeful it is going to be successful.

“We would like to try and persuade them to invest into ethical funds, even into alternative energies.”

“We’re getting as many signatures as we can and have spread the campaign across West Sussex,” he added.

Launched last year, the online petition has 512 signatures, with others across the county also signing paper versions as the campaign spreads.

A spokesman for the climate group said: “West Sussex County Council can help address climate change by divesting £100m of its pension funds out of fossil fuels.

“Fracking, shale gas, arctic sea oil exploration – all of these, plus the systematic drilling for coal, oil and gas on land and in the sea, are financed in part through pension funds.

“Dangerous climate change is the risk if we don’t all act.

“Divesting these funds now is morally and ethically correct,” they added.

More than 20 supporters, old and young, gathered outside County Hall in Chichester to make their views heard and present the petition to Nathan Elvery.

The protesters included a young child holding a placard which read ‘For my future please divest’.

According to Rod, if West Sussex County Council agreed to divest its pension funds from fossil fuels it would join ten other councils across the country.

A link to the online petition can be found on our website.

What do you think? Should West Sussex County Council be investing in fossil fuels?

Email your views to news@worthingherald.co.uk.